Antigua, July 24 (IANS) Pacers Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Shami claimed an impressive four-wicket haul each to put India in driver’s seat at stumps on the third day of the opening Test cricket match at the Sir Vivian Richards stadium here on Saturday.
West Indies after their overnight score of 31 for one on Friday, were bundled out for 243 in the first innings on Saturday, thanks to Umesh (4-41), Shami (6-44) and Amit Mishra (2-43). India posted a mammoth first innings total of 566 for eight declared.
Darren Bravo (10 not out) and Rajendra Chandika (9 not out) remained unbeaten as the hosts reached 21/1 in their second innings at stumps on Day 3 and trail by 302 runs.
Overnight batsman Devendra Bishoo (12) and left-hander Darren Bravo (11) were the wickets India picked in the opening session on Saturday as West Indies only managed to add 59 runs in the first session.
Night watchman left-hander Bishoo was stumped by wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha after being beaten in flight and dragged his feet ahead to a delivery from leg-spinner Amit Mishra.
Left-hander Bravo edged a rising back of a length delivery to Saha to hand over a prized wicket to India, just in the penultimate over before lunch.
In the morning, Indian medium pacers Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma probed the West Indian duo of Braithwaite and Bishoo with tight line and length. Testing them with occasional bouncers, Shami and Ishant hardly gave the batsmen any room as they tried to just hang in there, without scoring.
India captain Virat Kohli put two close-in fielders apart from the slips to send the message to the West Indies that India need wickets. The West Indies batsmen were tentative as the ball moved a lot, aided by the wind and the Indians tested the dogged patience of the hosts.
The presence of a non-regular batsman in Bishoo also did not help the hosts’ cause as he struggled a lot — with a couple of catches just avoiding the close-in fielders.
Braithwaite too struggled to negotiate the bounce and the swing and once had a shot just flying above the slip fielders.
Indian spinners came on they kept the pressure on the batsmen. Finally, they were rewarded with a wicket when Bishoo was stumped while attempting a cross-bat shot off leg-spinner Mishra.
After the wicket at 68/2, Bravo came and he played a couple of good shots and Braithwaite also showed some positivity against off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who was smacked for two fours towards mid-on and point.
Later, Bravo ended up edging it behind off a Shami delivery pitched outside the off stump just in the penultimate over before lunch to make it a successful session for the tourists.
Coming in after lunch, Shami dismissed Marlon Samuels (1) and Jermaine Blackwood (0) in one over to have the hosts at 92/5.
But Kraigg Braithwaite (74) and incoming batsman Roston Chase (23) stayed on to add 47-run partnership for the sixth wicket before Umesh Yadav dismissed Chase followed by Kraigg in the 66th and 68th over to have West Indies struggling at 144/7.
After tea, skipper Jason Holder (36) and Shane Dowrich (57 not out) helped the hosts pile on some crucial runs before the last three wickets fell.
India therefore enforced a follow on and Ishant Sharma stuck in the very first over to remove Kraigg.